Kerala Beef Biriyani and a Good News :)
I have great news to share with you all. I am now a published cookbook author! D.C books, Kerala’s leading publisher have published two of my cookbooks last week – Snack box recipes and Lunch box Vibhavangal. D.C books team itself did the cover page.
Yes, I know! This would have come as a surprise for many of you, but the process of publishing is quite long and I wasn’t sure when exactly it would get published. And, I haven’t seen it yet!
Anyways, this is the beginning of an exciting phase in my life as well as for Yummy O Yummy. I really need your support here too! Both the cookbooks have some recipes that you won’t find on the blog.
Please don’t think of me as an expert cook now . Being a food blogger and now a cookbook author, comes with its good and bad sides. Recently, whenever I cook for potlucks or have guests over at home, expectations about my dishes are set too high! I have so many friends here who all cook amazingly delicious dishes, but they just don’t blog.
Another news is, we have shot a video recipe for DC books. The editor at D.C Books wanted a couple of video recipes from me, but it didn’t turn out the way we expected I guess video recipes are not my cup of tea! You can find the link below. I chose a very simple and quick recipe as it was my first attempt.
Coming back to the cookbooks, this is a result of more than a year’s hard work, and is quite an achievement for me! To celebrate this, let me share a delicious beef biriyani that I had during our vacation in Kerala. Few of the readers have been complaining that I didn’t post the Kerala recipes that I had mentioned in this post. I got many requests from my readers to post the chemmeen curry and beef biriyani ASAP. I actually had to try those recipes to make sure the measurements were accurate and click the step pictures. We were having mostly vegetarian food for the last 2 months and I got time to try them only this week. Anyways, better late than never! So here goes the beef biriyani recipe for you!
Biriyani is my most favorite dish and I have lots of biriyani recipes here. But I have never had a success with beef biriyani before as the beef pieces in the biriyani always turned out hard and lacked flavor. I learnt this method of cooking beef biriyani from my mother-in-law’s maid Lathika chechi, who is an awesome cook. In this method, beef pieces are pressure-cooked first and then sliced into small pieces, the rest of the recipe is like that of the usual biriyani. That way the beef absorbs more flavor from the gravy and will turn out soft. Lathika chechi gave me an outline on how to do it, and I developed the recipe. I have posted two of her other yummy recipes here – kovakka fry and vella kadala ularthiyathu. I will make sure to collect more yummy recipes from her during my next vacation. For now, enjoy this biriyani..
Ingredients (Serves 5)
1. Beef – 1/2 kg, cubed
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Pepper powder – 1/2 tsp
Salt – To taste
2. Basmati rice – 2 cups, soaked in enough water for 15 minutes and then drained well
Ghee/ coconut oil – 2 tsp
Whole spices – Cardamom – 4, Cloves – 5, Cinnamon stick – 1 inch
Hot water – 3 cups
Salt – To taste
For the gravy
3. Coconut oil – 3 tbsp
4. Onion – 1 large or around 3 cups, thinly sliced and halved
Curry leaves – A few
5. Ginger-garlic paste – 2 tsp heaped
6. Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder – 2 tsp
Kashmiri chilly powder – 1 tsp
Pepper powder – 1/2 – 3/4 tsp
Garam masala powder – 3/4 tsp
7. Tomato – 1 small, thinly sliced
8. Meat masala powder – 3/4 tsp (It can be replaced with garam masala powder)
9. Cilantro – 2 – 3 tbsp, finely chopped
10. Onion – 1 cup, thinly sliced and deep-fried
Carrot – 1 medium, thinly sliced (optional)
Fresh green peas – 3 tbsp (optional)
Cashews – A few
Cilantro – 3/4 cup, chopped
Mint leaves – 1/2 cup, chopped
Deep-fry the thinly sliced onions, carrots, fresh green peas and cashews separately and drain on to a paper towel. Set aside until ready to layer.
1. In a pressure cooker, add in the beef pieces, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, 1/2 tsp pepper powder, 2 tbsp water (optional) and enough salt. Mix well and pressure-cook for 1 – 2 whistles (cooking time depends on the type of beef used). Switch off. When pressure releases, open the pressure cooker. Cook the beef pieces until water is almost completely evaporated. When it is warm enough to handle, cut the beef into thin pieces using kitchen shears. Set aside.
2. Meanwhile cook rice adding ghee, whole spices, salt and enough water. You can either make ghee rice or follow the draining method.
Draining method – Soak the basmati rice for around 20 mts. Boil water in a deep vessel. To the boiling water add ghee – 2 tsp, whole spices (cardamom – 4, cloves – 5, cinnamon stick – 1 inch). Add enough salt. The water should be slightly salty. Now add the soaked rice and cook it to the perfect consistency. It will take around 15 – 20 mts at medium heat. Drain the water and set aside.
For ghee rice recipe, click here.
3. To prepare the beef gravy – Heat 2 – 3 tbsp coconut oil in a pressure cooker. Add onions, few curry leaves, little salt and sauté until transparent. Next add ginger-garlic paste, mix well and sauté until onion turns light golden. Add the spice powders – turmeric powder, chilly powder, coriander powder, pepper powder and garam masala powder. Mix well and stir at low heat until their raw smell is gone. Next add tomato slices and cook until tomato turns mushy. Add beef pieces, meat masala powder and 1 – 1.5 cups of hot water. Mix well. Cook covered until the beef pieces are completely coated with the gravy. Sprinkle chopped cilantro and mix well.
4. To layer – Remove 1/2 – 3/4 th of the beef mixture into a plate and set aside. Top the remaining mixture in the pan with fried onion, carrot, fresh green peas, fried cashews, chopped cilantro and mint. (You can pour 1 – 2 tsp of ghee also,if you want). Top it with cooked rice followed by the items under garnish. The topmost layer should be that of rice. Cover with lid. Place this pan on a griddle/large tawa and cook for 3- 4 minutes at medium-low heat. (You can layer them in an oven-proof vessel smeared with ghee, layer, cover with an aluminum foil and bake at 350 F for about 20 – 25 minutes instead). Switch off. Mix well. Serve the delicious beef biriyani with pickle, raita and pappadam. Enjoy!